Indianapolis Monuments and Memorials: Honoring Our Heritage

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument – One of the single most recognized landmarks in Indianapolis, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument sits on Monument Circle and commemorates Indiana’s war heroes who died serving in battle. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument serves as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors who fought in the American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, the U.S. Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. Constructed of gray oolitic limestone, the monument rises to a height of nearly 285 feet, just five yards shorter than the Statue of Liberty.
Indiana War Memorial Plaza – On the Indiana War Memorial grounds, which occupy a full six city blocks, there are three parks and some 24 acres of awe-inspiring statues, monuments, fountains and sculptures. Inside are two large war museums and the American Legion’s state and national headquarters. Some of the greater monuments and memorials in the Indiana War Memorial include the Indiana War Memorial Museum, Veterans Memorial Plaza, the American Legion Plaza, the U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial, and many more.
Indiana War Memorial Museum – The exterior of the Indiana War Memorial Museum building proudly displays six stone columns between its tower’s five large windows, each of sculpted, Neo-classical Greek style figures symbolizing courage, victory, memory, liberty, peace and patriotism. Inside, the museum is separated into three levels: veterans of the two world wars, Vietnam, and Korea are honored on the first floor, the second floor is dedicated to the Shrine Room, a living symbol of world peace, and the third floor houses the museum’s collection of military memorabilia.
Veterans Memorial Plaza – Veterans Memorial Plaza, also known as Obelisk Square, was constructed in 1930. The area is a public park-like setting that underwent a facelift in a 1975 beautification effort for the Bicentennial Declaration of Independence celebration. Featuring a paved plaza, grassy areas, and a 100-foot tall obelisk rising from the middle of a 100-foot diameter fountain as a centerpiece, Veterans Memorial Plaza is the impressive and proud symbol for downtown Indianapolis.
U.S.S. Indianapolis National Memorial – The U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial is a monument in Indianapolis that pays tribute to the crew of the U.S.S Indianapolis, who perished in the worst disaster in United States naval history. An outdoor site located at the north end of the Canal Walk at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, the U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial has the names of the ship’s final crew engraved on the south face and the story of that fateful event etched on the other.
American Legion Mall – The American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis contains the national headquarters of the Legion, a sunken garden and a magnificent memorial called the Cenotaph. Built with the Indiana limestone that brought so much prosperity to central Indiana during the 1800s, the American Legion Mall is a noble structure, worthy of its noble occupants. The sunken gardens in Cenotaph Square, for example, were constructed in 1931 to honor fallen patriots from World War One, the Great War.
Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial – The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial is situated next to Military Park. The structure of the memorial utilizes 27 blue-green glass walls of between seven and ten feet in height, all set, free-standing, into the foundation, all curves. These curved glass walls have been placed in such a manner that no two walls are parallel, and some curve inward, some outward. The path through the Memorial is likewise curved, and the whole structure is duplicated by its calm reflection in the canal that borders it.

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